Sabal Palmetto Scale – Control
Q: I have scale insects on my sabal palm trees. I have tried spraying insecticide on them but I wonder if you could give me any more tips?
A: Sabal palms, which are more correctly called sabal palmettoes, are well known to be affected by scale. The thick waxy shell they secrete prevents insecticides from being very effective. The good news is that a naturally occurring predatory wasp loves to lay eggs in scale, which kills the pests. For this reason, I think spraying the palmettoes with horticultural oil is the best control. Before you spray, wipe off as many insects as you can, using paper towels dampened with soapy water.